Tuesday 13 October 2020 – I noticed the Australian Space Weather report MUF and T index were reporting ‘enhanced’ conditions while the K index was close to zero, excellent! I checked the local weather forecast, which with the exception of Thursday, indicated rain for the week. Thursday it is!!
Plan: Thursday 15 October 2020, activate Mt Ainslie VK1/AC-040 after work from 0600 UTC to sunset 0820 UTC (1700h to 1920h local). Choice of HF Bands; 7 and 14 MHz, primarily 14 MHz. I contacted my good friend Herbert OE9HRV in Bregenz asking if he might have the opportunity to listen for me? Yes! Andrew was the reply.
Equipment: FT-857D, 2 x 8Ah LiFePO4 batteries, linked Inverted V dipole for 17/20/30/40m bands, 7 metre telescopic pole, 10m RG58AU coax. I plan to operate the 857 at 50 watts output.
I posted a note to the SOTA reflector of my intention to activate Mt Ainslie for long path propagation. The note generated a fair amount of interest from EU SOTA chasers and two UK SOTA activators, keen for a UK – VK1 Summit to Summit (S2S) QSO. I asked myself is this an opportunity to regenerate interest in SOTA DX long path during the solar minima? I think it is 🙂
My assessment of the space weather conditions (hunch) paid off. 20m long path propagation opened at 0645 UTC for approximately 1 hour. Band conditions were excellent and the 14 MHz background noise floor at Mt Ainslie was low. I immediately thought back to 2013 – 2015 where you could confidently work Europe chasers with an FT-817 at 5 watts output.
20m DX Window Long Path propagation
0645 UTC to 0745 UTC
Result – DX SOTA Chasers (SSB mode)
20m (14.320 and 14.315 MHz): 15
40m (7.130 and 7.150 MHz): 7
DX Countries worked
Russia, Japan, Italy, France, Austria, New Zealand, Germany, Hungary, Spain, Croatia and Columbia, yes Columbia!
VK2, VK4, VK5 and VK7. With the exception of Mark VK1EM/2 located in NSW, I didn’t receive a call from local VK1 chasers, quite odd!
QRN on 40m 😦
Nearby storms (1000 km away) were generating S9 QRN. Conditions on 40m made hearing weak signal reception quite difficult. Note to self – I spent too long on 40m, I should have dedicated that time to 20m chasers.
Extract of VK1AD SOTA Activator Log: Mt Ainslie 15 October 2020
Maps curtsey of SOTA Mapping
UK Activators: I did hear Mike 2E0YYY on 40m (7.181 MHz) operating from Gun G/SP-013, I called S2S a number of times but didn’t make the distance. Andy G6PJZ was activating Cringle Moor – Drake Howe G/TW-002 on 14.310 MHz, I listened a few times for Andy without luck. 😦
Short 23 second video from Herbert’s radio shack, 14.320 MHz.
|06:08||UA3EDQ||14MHz||SSB||Igor s58 r56|
|06:10||JH1MXV||14MHz||SSB||Hatori s57 r53|
|06:34||F5JKK||7MHz||SSB||Eric s57 r44|
|06:35||IK4GRO||7MHz||SSB||Lauro s57 r54|
|06:38||F5JKK||7MHz||SSB||Eric s58 r45|
|06:38||VK7DW||7MHz||SSB||Andrew s59 r49|
|06:40||VK4SMA||7MHz||SSB||Mark s59 r57|
|06:44||F4GMM||7MHz||SSB||Ludovic s58 r53|
|06:44||OE9HRV||7MHz||SSB||Herbert s58 r44|
|06:46||ZL2ATH||7MHz||SSB||Wynne s57 r57|
|06:55||F5JKK||14MHz||SSB||Eric s58 r55|
|06:57||IK2LEY||14MHz||SSB||Fabio s57 r44|
|06:59||F5MDY||14MHz||SSB||Nic s57 r52|
|07:01||OE9HRV||14MHz||SSB||Herbert s59 r57|
|07:03||DL6MST||14MHz||SSB||Klaus s58 r52|
|07:05||HA3MQ||14MHz||SSB||Ferenc s58 r57|
|07:20||EA2DT||14MHz||SSB||Manuel s57 r42|
|07:22||IK3XJL||14MHz||SSB||Mauro s57 r51|
|07:24||DK2ZT||14MHz||SSB||Walter s58 r55|
|07:29||G0RQL||14MHz||SSB||Don s55 r44|
|07:31||9A2CD||14MHz||SSB||Con s58 r58|
|07:45||VK4FTRL||7MHz||SSB||Rick s59 r59|
|07:47||VK2EMI||7MHz||SSB||Mark s59 r59|
|07:47||VK1EM||7MHz||SSB||Mark s59 r57|
|07:48||VK5PAS||7MHz||SSB||Paul s59 r59|
|07:49||ZL3GIG||7MHz||SSB||Ian s59 r59|
|08:00||ZL3AWB||14MHz||SSB||Andrew s59 r59|
While I don’t have a physics degree, I am convinced there is some form of HF RF wormhole between Mt Ainslie and Europe latitude 41 to 53 degrees 🙂
My SOTA DX history, check the results for Mt Ainslie: https://vk1nam.wordpress.com/sota-dx-from-vk1/
2 thoughts on “SOTA DX – VK1 to Europe Long Path Propagation”
Well done, Andrew!
It’s a shame I read your thread on the SOTA reflector on Thursday evening (utc) only!
Maybe next time? Condx seem to improve significantly. Can’t wait to hear signals from down under on 20m LP more frequently again…
73, Roman – DL3TU
Excellent work Andrew!
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